A substantial introduction to Hardy??'s six major novels and his poems.
This study of Thomas Hardy provides a substantial introduction to his six major novels and his poems. It deals more briefly with the minor fiction. Hardy now seems a more important novelist and poet than at any previous time. This is only partly due to his capabilities as a social historian or provincial chronicler. Far more important is his faithful exploration of the daily trials and tragedies of men and women as feeling beings. Man and woman in love, man and woman 'up against it', are the central themes of his fiction and poetry. His ability to universalise his tragic material, in which he is akin to Shakespeare, is seen as his abiding achievement. Detailed analyses are made of some crucial passages in the major novels and a serious attempt is made to counter the proposition that Hardy 'wrote badly'.
Introduction; 1. Life offers - to deny!; 2. Far from the Madding Crowd; 3. The Return of the Native; 4. The Mayor of Casterbridge; 5. The Woodlanders; 6. Tess of the d'Urbervilles; 7. Jude the Obscure; 8. A Pair of Blue Eyes, The Trumpet-Major and the minor fiction; 9. The poems.
Thomas Hardy now seems a more important novelist and poet than at any previous time. This study provides a substantial introduction to his six major novels and his poems. Foregrounding his ability to universalise his tragic material, it also sets out to counter the proposition that Hardy 'wrote badly'.